Victorian Premier Dennis Napthine announces a bailout package for SPC ardmona

"Aussie consumers are demanding more and more home-grown products": SPC Managing Director Peter Kelly. Photo: Jason South

Fruit canning company SPC Ardmona has won a $70 million contract with the country’s largest supermarket chain Woolworths just weeks after the federal government rejected a $25 million bailout for the company.

The five-year deal comes a week after the Victorian government reached a $22 million assistance package agreement to upgrade facilities at the SPC Ardmona cannery.

SPC, which is a subsidiary of the Coca-Coca Amatil, will supply Woolworths with all its home-brand fruit and Australian canned tomato soup products.

The company says the government's refusal worked in its favour as consumers responded positively to the Australian company’s situation.

"Woolworths has really embraced the fact that Aussie consumers are demanding more and more home-grown products," SPC managing director Peter Kelly said in a statement.

Last month, SPC failed to win a federal grant from the Abbott government to help upgrade its World War II era plant but the Victorian government, which faces an election in November, stepped in with the assistance package and provided a much-needed lifeline.

Victorian Deputy Premier Peter Ryan said the state's assistance to the company played a role in the Woolworths deal.

"There is no question that the fact of the government being prepared to support the package with SPC has been the determining factor in this," he told ABC radio.

"The company could well have been lost. That $100 million investment is now literally going to bear fruit."

with AAP